Tourism is recognized globally as a vital contributor and mechanism for poverty alleviation, job creation, socio-economic growth and environmental protection. In Africa, this couldn’t be more true.
At Natural Selection we take this responsibility seriously. We recognize that tourism operations are vital to many livelihoods in and around wildlife areas, and the abrupt decline in tourism revenue, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, has the potential for far reaching impacts on communities. This is particularly the case in woman-headed households and single income households, of which there are many in the Natural Selection family. And the virus itself could have a devastating impact on these communities where there are very high rates of HIV.
In Botswana and Namibia, 8.9% and 15.7% of the population respectively are employed by the tourism sector. One employed person typically supports between five and seven other people.
Over the last three years, 1.5% of every guest’s stay in our camps has gone towards community and conservation projects. Combined with the direct contributions that our camps make to local community outreach, this amounts to nearly 1 million USD of committed funds. For the first time, we are reaching out to former guests, African enthusiasts, agents, friends and relatives to bolster our resources via the Natural Selection Foundation and help support the thousands of livelihoods that will be affected by the temporary closure of our camps.
The “COVID – 19 Village Support” programme was set up to improve the nourishment of communities in the face of this unprecedented viral threat, and to address human-wildlife conflict by reducing the need for bushmeat hunting. Education materials was also distributed with food parcels (working with Coaching Conservation) to improve the understanding of Covid-19 and preventative measures, as well as how each individual has a responsibility to his or her immediate environment and the planet, its wildlife and people. Click on the icon below to download the Coronavirus Survival Kit, which was distributed to villages throughout Southern Africa in both English and several different local languages.
The Natural Selection Foundation is a US registered 501c3 charity.Support This Project